The Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend takes the main religion of India and provides an insight into all aspects of Hindu life, both past and present. Some thousand illustrated entries act as a key to topics including the history of Hinduism, its mythology, art, architecture, religion, laws and folklore. Based on the most recent scholarly research, the development of Hinduism is presented from its ancient manifestations in local cults and epic poems to modern-day festivals and customs worldwide. The complex relationship between the multitude of gods, goddesses and semi-divine beings is brought to light in the articles on religion and mythology, while its rich imagery is revealed in the entries on architecture, sculpture, painting, dance and theatre, including works of art illustrated here for the first time. Food and etiquette, the caste system, Ayurvedic medicine, love and marriage, and contemporary practices are just a few of the topics to explore. The maps and entries on the principal cities and places of pilgrimage in India contained in this volume, as well as the concise chronology and list of principal dynasties, allow the reader to gain a clear overview of the geography, history, languages and continuing vibrant religious and cultural traditions of the Hindu heritage. Whether for those preparing a visit to India, for Asians living in the West, for students or simply for those interested in Things Indian, this volume will serve as a lively and indispensable guide.